George Lucas Educational Foundation

Tech and Teach

Edutopia Team
Related Tags: Technology Integration
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

We've got a fun and quick assignment for you and your class, and the answers you submit will form the basis of an article we're putting together for the July/August issue of Edutopia. We know, and you know, that your students are crazy about tech. We also know they'd like to use it in the classroom. So we'd appreciate it if you to ask your students the following questions:

What technology do you use outside of school that would be good for the classroom? Why? How would that work?

Here's an example: We like the computer game Zoo Tycoon. In the classroom, you could assign teams of kids to create zoos, and then you and they could analyze the ones that score the highest on factors such as finances, animal happiness, and the number of visitors. Then you could figure out the best parts of how those teams managed their zoos and try to put together the ideal zoo. It's a lot like managing a business, or even a life. Lesson learned!

We also welcome ideas about how to use consumer tech devices and gadgets in the classroom.

Send your suggestions to by May 14 -- no unexcused late assignments accepted!

Comments (3) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Mark Ondrake, MA, MBA's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

To adapt the pedagogy of language learning to the age of technology, I have developed electronic MS-Excel Flashcards for French and English vocabulary. My list presently includes 15,000 pairs of words - French and English, 15,000 of each, with the French accents and genders.

This approach enhances the acquisition of any second-language vocabulary. In addition, any lists of terms and concepts in any academic discipline ( science, anatomy, English vocabulary, art history, etc.) could also be used. I have also incorporated full definitions, and use words "in context" to enhance the learning experience.

Since my methodology uses MS-Excel, it can be easily sorted by subject (food, travel, business), grammar type (verbs, nouns, adjectives) or by level of difficulty (Beginner to Advanced.) MS-Excel Pivot Tables also allow easy manipulation of the data.

More importantly, the comprehensive vocabulary list can be easily keyed (indexed) to chapters in any textbook or work of literature. Hence, a specific list of terms can be used before reading (preparation), while reading (comprehension in context) or after reading (assessment).

The easy-to-use MS-Excel format allows teacher and student to customize their learning and testing, as needed. Lists can be downloaded from a central server, then used by students for at-home practice and memorization.

For additional "sizzle", I have added HTML links to many words : clicking on a word takes the user to an on-line explanation and/or illustration of the term. The next step will be to link words to Computer Generated Images (CGI), a process which is underway.

These electronic flashcards can be used on a desk-top PC, on a handheld "Pocket PC", on a cell-phone with Pocket-Excel, or the lists can be printed for ease of use.

In conclusion, the MS-Excel platform allows any user to create, modify, and learn with the flashcards. No special software beyond MS-Excel is needed. To use words in context, I have also employed full French phrases, embedded images, and sentences within the MS-Excel format.

Please contact me to discuss this for your curriculum project.


Mark Ondrake
MA, U. of Wisconsin
MBA, U. of Washington

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Tried to contact Mr. Ondrake and got the message at was an invalid address. I am really interested in his ideas. If he or anyone who knows him reads this, please post an updated e-mail address onto this forum. Thanks.

mark  ondrake's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

[quote]Tried to contact Mr. Ondrake and got the message at was an invalid address. I am really interested in his ideas. If he or anyone who knows him reads this, please post an updated e-mail address onto this forum. Thanks.[/quote]

Hello -
Are you still out there ?
Send me a note 10-25-09

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.